Tag Archives: Dover Publications

Book Review: Clay Play! Animal Favorites – Creative Fun For All Ages

Clay Play! Animal Favorites

By Terry Taylor

You can create a zoo full of cute clay animals with Terry Taylor’s Clay Play! Animal Favorites. Using Polymer clay and simple tools like dowels, paper clips and pipe cleaners, you can create a menagerie of real and mythical creatures.

Taylor begins with the basics of Polymer clay. She provides detailed instructions with colorful pictures as well as diagrams. My favorite beginner tip is to rub a bit of hand cream on your hands before you begin to keep the colors clean and the clay from sticking to your hands.

Each individual animal has two pages of instructions. There is a material list, written directions and a page of pictures showing each stage of completion from beginning to end. Polymer clay is then baked, so adult supervision is needed if your child wants to create with you.

Of the 29 adorable projects, it is hard to pick a favorite. They are all cute and colorful. The lion, penguin and sloth are super cute, as well as the panda and frog. The personality shines through for each animal with the adorable expressions on their faces.

I highly recommend this book of adorable critters. The instructions are so well written it guarantees your success. If you don’t want to use Polymer clay, you could use regular clay or Playdoh with your children. The animals will not last like the baked Polymer, but you and your children will have hours of fun making and remaking the land and sea creatures in this book.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Cut and Assemble The Mayflower – A Full-Color Paper Model

Cut and Assemble the Mayflower

A Full Color Paper Model

By A. G. Smith

Thanksgiving will be here before you know it, so now is the perfect time to begin making this stunning paper replica of the Mayflower. Can you imagine the surprise on your guest’s faces when they see this detailed version of this famous ship?

The instructions are detailed and clear, but this is not a project that should be completed at the last minute as there are many steps as well as the time it takes for the glue to set after each section is complete. There are photographs and exploded views to assist you. The list of additional items needed is short. It includes many things you already have on hand, such as an X-ACTO knife, glue and a straight edge. Black thread, toothpicks and straight pins are used to create the rigging.

The sheer number of pieces demonstrates building this ship will not be a small or quick task. It is a show piece, and worthy of your time and effort. So much so that you will probably want to keep it out all year to enjoy.

I recommend this book for adults and teens, as children could easily become confused and/or frustrated with all of the small details, not to mention the use of sharp objects. By all means let your child help you with the easier parts of the model with adult supervision.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Origami Boxes – Fun and Useful

Origami Boxes

Dover Publications

Origami is cute, fun and offers beautiful things to create from paper. The patterns in Origami Boxes are simple, easy to construct and useful. I don’t know about you, but I like to put gifts in boxes and wrap them instead of using bags with tissue paper. I know it is faster and easier to use bags, but unwrapping a gift in a box is so much more fun for the gift and giver.

You can create the small boxes you need by using the step-by-step easy instructions included in this book. There are several different types of boxes, such as a flat box, a box with a hinged lid and a fortune purse. It is fun to give a small treasure in a hand made box of your own creation.

There are general instructions for novice and seasoned origami masters, as well as specific instructions for each of the eight boxes created by experts. As a bonus, there are 200 sheets of origami paper in various colors and patterns. You will soon have an array of beautiful boxes for small gifts in magnificent florals, soothing solids and eye-catching geometric designs.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Adorable Fruits and Vegetables to Crochet – Over Twenty Patterns

Adorable Fruits & Vegetables to Crochet

By: Marie Clesse

Beautiful color pictures of luscious looking veggies and fruit fill the pages of this pattern book. Lemons to leeks, peas in a pod, pumpkins and more are included in the colorful pages of Adorable Fruits & Veggies.

Step by step, easy to read instructions for over twenty colorful fruits and veggies are included for beginners and seasoned crafters to create. Cotton yarn is suggested, but other yarns can be used. There is a handy paragraph with substitutions and adjustments to the size crochet hook needed. You will also need stuffing and other basic craft materials such as scissors and pins.

If you have never crocheted or uncertain about some of the techniques, there are simple, step by step instructions with illustrations to get you started. These include single, half-double, double and triple crochet and how to work in the round or crochet in rows.

Proficient crafters will find the instructions simple and straightforward. The author also adds the approximate amount of time it takes to complete each project. The front cover of the book recommends using these fun fruits and veggies as “Delicious Decorations for Your Table”. As soon as I saw them, I thought immediately of making them for some of the young children in my life. Kids love to play make believe with plastic fruits and vegetables, why not make them out of yarn that can easily be popped in the washer and dryer instead? You may have to make several of each because they will love playing with them.

I recommend this book to all crochet lovers from beginners to seasoned veterans. The size of each project is perfect to take along with you to work on and is fast and easy. Most crafters have bits of yarn in their stash that can be used to create fun, soft, washable fruits and veggies with the instructions in Adorable Fruits and Veggies.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Stealth Aircraft Origami – Create Paper Airplanes Like Never Before

Stealth Aircraft Origami

By: Jayson Merrill

Quick! Tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear origami. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking of cute little animals out of flowery paper. Jayson Merrill, author of Stealth Aircraft Origami is about to change everyone’s thoughts on the ancient craft of origami.

Paper airplanes have always been fun to create, and Merrill takes them to a whole new level. One of the aircraft featured is the Black Knight. In the introduction, he tells us how he created this plane without tape and it flew 237 feet! He states this book is not for beginners.  Only experienced origami experts should attempt to make the SR-71 Blackbird, F-117 Nighthawk and the rest of the super cool fighter jets found within the pages.

There are detailed instructions and pictures outlining the procedures to create these super cool planes, as well as a fascinating paragraph about each one. Each type of fold is shown for every step. The Black Knight has 37 different steps. If that isn’t enough of a challenge, the B-2 Spirit (stealth bomber) uses 56 steps to create this amazing plane that was first developed in 1979. This bomber is still in use today. One of the other aircrafts, the SR 71 Blackbird was developed in the 1960s and could fly at speeds over Mach 3 Today visitors can see one close up at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Air and Space Museum in Chantilly, VA.

I recommend this book to anyone that wants a real challenge. I am only a beginner when it comes to origami, but the challenge of creating a paper airplane that could fly over 200 feet is calling to me. How about you?

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Copyright © 2020 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: Margeau Chapeau, A New Perspective on Classic Knit Hats – Enter to Win a Copy!

Margeau Chapeau

A new perspective on classic knit hats

By: Margeau Soboti

Avid and sometime knitters alike have most likely created at least one handknit gift for the holidays. When the New Year begins, it is often time to cast on new projects either for yourself or someone you love. Margeau Chapeau is the perfect answer to the question: “What will I make next?”

Ms. Soboti has designed over a dozen knit hat patterns that range from easy to challenging patterns. Hat knitting is the perfect project to practice new techniques. The small size enables you to try new things such as Fair Isle, Brioche, Chevron or cables. Let’s be honest, learning something new usually involves a bit of trial and error. It is much easier to start again on a small project if necessary than a huge project like a sweater.

The patterns range in skill level from easy to intermediate. Each one lists the suggested yarns, most of which are worsted or bulky with a few specialty yarns like a mohair blend or alpaca. Of course, you can always change the yarn you use, but be sure to check your gauge and adjust the needle size accordingly.

Each pattern not only gives you the level of skill needed, size of needles, gauge and suggested yarn, but also includes measurements of the final project. The step by step instructions are clear and easy to follow. Conveniently, the stitch glossary is included for each individual pattern so you don’t have to bounce back and forth from the pattern to the glossary pages.

Dover Publications  has graciously offered to give a copy to one of my readers. To enter into the drawing, “like” this post on FB  or on my blog, https://writeknit.wordpress.com/. If you leave a comment on either FB (laura.hartman.96 ) or my blog, I will add 2 extra entries in the drawing for you. If you “like” and comment on both, you will have 6 chances to win if you like and comment on both FB and writeknit. The winner will be chosen  and announced on January 10, 2020. Dover Publications will mail the book directly to the winner. Good Luck!

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

 

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Book Review: Knitting Notions – Adult Coloring Book for Knitters

Knitting Notions

Adult Coloring Book

By: Jessica Mazurkiewicz

The fun but stressful season of parties, presents and perpetual motion is over for another year. It is the perfect time to take a deep breath and relax. There is no better way to relax than grabbing some colored pencils, crayons or markers and lose yourself in the Knitting Notions Coloring Book.

 Anyone can use the complexly patterned pages to relax, especially knitters. Each page has yarn and yarn related images. It is the perfect way to play with color before casting on your New Year’s knitting projects. Mixing colors in knitting is part of the joy and individualism of a project. But knitters know there is nothing more frustrating than completing a project that has taken hours to create and find out the colors just don’t work. Experimenting with color on the pages of this coloring book just makes sense. And is really fun.

I highly recommend Knitting Notions Coloring Book. The images are fun I guarantee they will stimulate the colorist inside of you to branch out and try new combinations and color palettes.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

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Book Review: My Little Crocheted Christmas – Adorable Decorations and Gifts to Crochet

My Little Crocheted Christmas

Festive Projects to Make the Season Bright

By: Doerthe Eisterlehner

Most people that crochet have stashes of yarn. Little bits that are too much to throw away, but not big enough to make a blanket or scarf. My Little Crocheted Christmas will help you clear out your stash by creating adorable Christmas gifts and decorations. From cute little pencil toppers to cozy wrist warmers you can create lovely handmade gifts and decorations with very little yarn.

Each project has beautiful color pictures as well as step-by-step instructions. The difficulty level is clearly listed as well as the list of materials needed.

The patterns are grouped together in sections. The first section is “Sweets” which includes a wreath and Advent Calendar to create. Next comes “Gift Ideas”. These include an adorable stuffed fox, finger puppets and a cute cozy for the coffee lovers on your Christmas list. Lastly is “Decorations”. I love the little Santas and snowmen. They will make a cute addition to a wrapped gift and then can be used as ornaments after the gift has been opened.

There are bells and ornaments as well as an entire crocheted Nativity scene. It would be perfect for small children to play with during the holiday season and perhaps all year. When my children were young, they wanted to touch and play with Christmas decorations.  We always had a few they could play with because that keeps everyone happy. The Nativity set is perfect for youngsters to touch and play with – nothing breakable and just the right size for small hands.

Eisterlehner’s book is just what crocheters need to kick off the holiday season and clear out their stashes. There are projects that range from beginner to experienced, with a wide variety of projects to choose from.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

 

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Book Review: Meditative Origami – Finding Mindfulness Through Coloring & Origami

Meditative Origami

Finding Mindfulness Through Coloring & Origami

By: John Montroll

Montroll brings a new twist to origami by combining adult coloring with origami. Both of these art forms are mindful and meditative. The ancient craft origami is used to help concentration as well as enhance mindfulness. Coupled with coloring, which is known for stress relief. Honestly, everyone needs to take a break from electronics for a while each day and take a breath. Meditative Origami will help you do just that.

The only instructions you need to know before getting out your colored pencils, markers or crayons is to note the shaded areas so you know which side of the paper will be folded.

There are detailed instructions included to create animals, birds and other simple origami structures. Be sure to check out page 7 as all of the basic folds are explained. Each has step-by-step written instructions along with illustrations. I like the arrows showing which way to properly fold each of them.

Meditative Origami is a great way to unplug and relax. So many of us don’t feel as though we have the time to do so, but it is really important to take care of yourself. Grab the kid’s crayons after they go to bed and just take a bit of time for yourself. There is something soothing about connecting with an ancient craft after a crazy electronic day – give it a try, you just might like it.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

 

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Book Review: Patchwork Quilt Designs Coloring Book – Inspiration For Your Next Quilting Project

Patchwork Quilt Designs Coloring Book

By: Carol Schmidt

Patchwork quilts are a piece of American history dating back to the eighteenth century. Our forefathers knew how to reuse and recycle before it became popular today. It was a necessity and way of life.

Quilting has made a resurgence. Works of art are created with bits of fabric thoughtfully planned and placed together to create a beautiful mosaic. Quilters are inspired by new and old patterns, much like the ones depicted in Carol Schmidt’s Patchwork Quilt Designs Coloring Book.

 The 31 pages of designs to color represent many of the classic quilting patterns. Everything from Tumbling Blocks to Dutch Rose are included. Each perforated page can become your personal work of art by using pens, crayons, markers or colored pencils.

Perhaps you are a quilter. The pages might inspire you to try a new design. Or maybe you are contemplating a new color scheme. What better way to work it out than on one of the quilt designs in this book?

Non-quilters will also enjoy the classic, simple shapes on the pages. Unlike most adult coloring books, most of these designs are not comprised of small spaces. There are a few pages that have smaller details, but for the most part the use of color and shades will be the star of your completed pages. This is a plus for anyone that may have trouble seeing the smaller spaces as well as those that want the colors to be the focus of the finished page.

DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy from Dover Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review. Copyright © 2019 Laura Hartman

 

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